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Christmas is coming!

IMG_0087Welcome, Friends!

You’re just in time for a cuppa tea!  I think you’ll agree that there is perhaps no other time of year as highly anticipated as the Christmas season. Like many of you,  I have begun making holiday plans and to get our home ready for Christmas.  I like to start early so I have plenty of time to enjoy the house in all its sparkle and glamour for as long as possible.  I think this is when the house looks its best.  I thought I would decorate first and clean after because I expect there will be glitter from one end of the house to the other by the time everything is finished!

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For a change, this year, I started in the kitchen with an old dresser repurposed as a sideboard.  (I normally start “Christmas at the End of the Hall” but change is good. A tin-framed mirror hangs above the dresser. I thought it would look nice with a generous pine and cedar wreath layered over it and then added a few glittery sprigs and delicate ornaments. The wreath looks very real.  What do you think?

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And, I began playing with a new camera that my husband bought for me! These images are of a few little nooks and crannies in our kitchen and are the very first photos I took using it.  I am really liking the way they turned out for a first try and I feel like a grown-up, finally! Lol  Now, I’ll have to look into that photography course that I’ve been wanting to do.  Maybe Santa will drop a gift certificate in my Christmas stocking…Hint.

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I’ve shared photos of my amber glassware before, but I thought you might enjoy seeing it again since these images are more detailed.  This pretty jug and juice glasses have been used to serve family and friends on many happy occasions throughout the years.  I remember finding it in an antiques barn by the side of the road when my husband and I were vacationing in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. That was when we were first married and so many years ago that I’ve lost count.  Where does the time go?

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I love the daisy pattern and swirls.  It looks rather ‘snowy’, don’t you think.

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The sweet miniature reindeer is actually a place card holder. You can see the little slit in his back that holds the card.

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The carnival glass jug is a special treasure and quite old. It belonged to my great-grandmother.

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My prized egg nog bowl, circa 1950’s, has served up many holiday drinks topped with peaks of delicious whipped cream! I can’t wait for egg nog!

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The pedestal crystal plate that the bowl sits on belonged to my father’s mother.

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Aren’t the eggnog cups cute?  They fit nicely in the palm of your hand and the eggnog tastes even yummier in such a pretty cup!

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Sometimes I find unexpected places for precious ornaments.  You never know where you’ll find one around here!

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I like to tuck in family photos amongst the Christmas decorations here and there throughout the house.

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This photo is of my mom when she was in her twenties.  My mother lives in a seniors’ residence now.  You’re welcome to have a peek at her room that I decorated for her here: “A Room With A View!”

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I like to mix gold and silver when decorating for the holidays to allow more possibilities, rather than using all of one or the other.  These glasses with the bubble pattern are used for champagne.

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I love mixing in natural pinecones in our holiday decor.

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A few special ornaments are displayed on the stacked cake plates in the centre of the kitchen table.

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All the greenery is artificial but the natural pinecones help it to look fresh! With the addition of the pinecones, sometimes its very hard to tell whether the greens are natural or not.

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I don’t use all of our ornaments for the trees.  Here are some ornaments atop the Lazy Susan.  Others can be found in bowls, peeping out of stockings, dresser drawers, hanging from mirrors, on cake plates, under cloches…just about anywhere you can think of that could use a little surprise of glamour!  These green sprigs are faux, too!

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I like using cookies in the same way – in places where you’d least expect to find them!  These sugar cookies in the shape of snowflakes are part of the centerpiece for the table.  My friend Maria made them for me last year and I froze them so I could re-use them this year. When they are fresh, they are delicious.  I save these, though, purely for decoration and are not to be eaten!

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Aren’t they adorable!

IMG_0080 They are such a sweet touch!

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I am in love with these little reindeer place card holders!

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Pedestal plates can be used for much more than pretty desserts!

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The caribou look more like “cow-a-boo!”

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This is one of my favourite things! Gingerbread under a cloche!

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Last year, I hung these same cookies from an evergreen garland over the kitchen sink. Can you see the ‘straw holes’ where the ribbons were slipped through.  Gingerbread keeps well.

IMG_0062 Angels are a must throughout the house.  Don’t you love the ethereal look?

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I nestled a sprig of faux greenery and a teeny bird in her between her hands.

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I hope you have fun dreaming of your Christmas plans…I’d love to hear about them!

SECOND ANNUAL “CHRISTMAS WREATHS FOR THE CURE!”

For those of you who live in our area, please remember to get your holiday wreaths from The Wreath Maker as part of a fundraiser for breast cancer research and community programs. The Wreath Maker’s creations make wonderful Christmas gifts for friends, neighbours and clients, too! Why not give a wreath earlier in the season so the recipient can enjoy the magic leading up to Christmas! When you order a fresh holiday wreath by ‘The Wreath Maker’ this Christmas season and (mention Pink Days In Bloom), a portion of your wreath purchase will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Atlantic.

Wreaths come in various sizes listed below; all fit a standard size door. These wreaths are expertly constructed of fresh balsam fir, decorated with berries and pinecones, finished off with a weatherproof red bow!
Small – 14” ($25), Medium – 18” ($35), Large – 24” ($45) and Extra Large – 30” ($60)
I LOVE the look of an evergreen symbol of the season and circle of life on my front door or gate, especially during the holidays! I have been buying wreaths from The Wreath Maker for over 25 years. It is a beloved Christmas tradition for our family! Now, you can, too! AND, while you’re at it, create a future without breast cancer…Until next time!
Thanks for stopping by!
Wishing you a beautiful day,

Linda

Christmas Wreaths for the Cure!

 

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I am thrilled to be joining the party at Home Sweet Home, What to do Weekends, Feathered Nest Friday, Saturday Show Off,  Pink Saturday, Simple and Sweet FridayShow and Tell, Shabbilicious Friday and Christmas, Fridays Unfolded, Show Off Friday , Much A Do About MondayAmaze Me Monday, Creative Monday, Tuesdays At Our Home, Tea Time Tuesday, A Return to Loveliness, Show and Share, Inspire Me Tuesday, The Scoop, Teacup Tuesday, Friends Sharing Tea, Tweak it Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, What We Accomplished Wednesday , Wake Up Wednesday, The Homemaking Party, WoW Us Wednesday, What’s It Wednesday, Home and Garden Thursday, Thursday Favourite ThingsShare Your Cup Thursday, Shabbilicious Christmas! YAY!

Angels Among Us…

Ever felt an angel’s breath in the gentle breeze?  A teardrop in the falling rain?  Hear a whisper amongst the rustle of leaves?  Or been kissed by a lone snowflake?  Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place.  ~Terri Guillemets

Dear Friends, Welcome!

I haven’t posted in awhile – I was away last week on a special mission but I’ll tell you a bit about that in my next post. And, I’ll announce the winner of my give-away then, too!

I am thankful that you are here now to share some tea with me and pre-Christmas spirit.  It’s nice to be together.  The holiday season is, after all, just around the corner, and I thought you might enjoy seeing these ‘heavenly’ photos of our living room mantel and tree.  These photos are from a Christmas past, so when you see the room next time, it will look a little different as I’ve been making some changes…

How do you like to decorate for the holidays?  Do you generally pick a theme and stick with it throughout the entire house? Or, do you like to mix it up from room to room?  There are so many beautiful things to choose from nowadays! I enjoy romantic decorating at Christmastime.  In these photos, our living room was decorated in warm hues: pinks, greys, browns, taupes, and gold and silver in celebration of the holidays!  I think it’s important to not pay too much attention to the ‘rules’ and just to do whatever it is that you love.  Then you are sure to be happy with whatever you create.  Wouldn’t you agree?!

These  pics were taken late at night by the glow of the Christmas lights.  The  result is equivalent to the “squint test”, a soft look that is almost magical.  I hope you can experience at least a little of the feel of the room’s ambience through them…

You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them if you’d like to see more detail…

Specially treasured ornaments that might otherwise be lost among those on the tree are given a place of honour high up on the mantel.  I like to sit them snugly in old-fashioned crystal wine goblets.  They fit perfectly for my purposes! And, I love how the twinkling faerie lights woven through the flocked garlands beneath are refracted in the crystal facets and cast dancing patterns all along the walls…so pretty in the quiet evening hours.  Glass candlesticks do duty as pedestals to also support precious ornaments.

These glorious angels were made for me many years ago by my friend Jean, whom you might remember from a previous post The Santa Lady of Farm Road. The figurines and Grecian columns that grace our mantle are ceramic, as well as the sweet cherubs that adorn our tree every year.  I think they add a certain magic to our holiday decor, and I love how the room looks when they are perched high up in the snowy branches.  I look forward to unwrapping them year after year and sharing them with family and friends through my holiday decorating. Jean doesn’t make these anymore, so I feel lucky to have them.  Sheer ribbons, glittering twigs, and sparkly stars, berries and pinecones are delicately woven through the flocked garland beneath the angels’ feet and act as fillers, offering  lots of fascinating texture. Strands of chandelier prisms strung across the front of the garland create a luxe look. Won’t you come on in for a closer look?

In the photo below, a small, inexpensive department store angel chosen solely for her sweet face is made splendid with a new skirt of glistening rose taffeta. A gilded twig star hangs directly overhead, illuminated with twinkling faerie lights and adorned with roses of frosted velvet, together with the most beautiful wired ribbons that twirl all the way down to the tree below.  A teeny wooden heart (one of more than a half dozen made by my friend Joan) rests on the face of the star shape and  is handpainted in custom colours to herald the season of  Peace. Its fellows can be found scattered here and there throughout the tree branches – they bring messages of Faith, Hope, Charity, Love, Joy and Eternity.  There are many objects on my tree collected through the the years and are cherished, which make it all the more meaningful at Christmas…

Friends are kisses blown to us by angels.  ~Author Unknown

Anyone can be an angel.  ~Author Unknown


Authentic Venetian masks are clustered near the flocked treetop.  I brought them home with me all the way from Italy especially for our tree!  Whenever I travel I am thinking of something that I can bring home with me to use at Christmastime. My friend Gail also brought me masks from New Orleans when she visited there during Christmas several years ago.  I also like to incorporate a mask or two in a companion garland that is normally draped overheard from the ceiling near the treetop!

This spectacular feline mask seems to glow with Swarovski crystals.  It was in a shop window in Venice and I knew it had to come home with me for my tree…

Angels have no philosophy but love.  ~ Terri Guillemets

A series of favourite teacup prints are trimmed with velvet flowers, sparkly twigs and glittery glass ornaments.  Cherub faces, handpainted by the same dear friend who created the trio of musical angels on the mantle, hang from the teapot print at the top of the wall arrangement. The Christmas tree stands adjacent to the wall of teacups, and ribbons twine and twirl from the tree though the art prints and onto an overhead garland that is nearby! The ribbons seem as if they have a life of their own, reaching out and up to touch whatever is near! If teacups could talk…

Fantasy Santa, companion figurine to the angels on the mantle and cherubs that trim the tree, were all made by my friend Jean.  See the post below for a story about her work:
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little trip down Memory Lane with me today.  Thanks for coming by, and please leave a comment to let me know you were here.  I’d love to hear about how you decorate for the season. There’ll be lots more Christmas to see in the weeks ahead, so I hope you’ll drop by again one day soon…
Wishing you a beautiful weekend,
Linda
I am  happy to be joining Lily-Rose Cottage for Simply Sweet (January 15, 2012).
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